Shannon

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I am wife to Stewart, mama of five, homeschooler, messy cook, and avid fermenter. This is where I tell our story... of building a sustainable off-grid homestead in a Christian agrarian community... of raising this growing family of ours... of the beauty and the hard and the joy in all of it.
926 articles written by Shannon

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The week started with another double canner load full of summer squash on Sunday. With the rains we received and the warming temperatures, the squash have been producing more than enough for eating and preserving.

We’ve been eating a simple stir-fry most days of squash, onions, garlic, green beans, and collards all from the garden. I really think vegetables are underrated. Maybe it’s because we live in a culture where you can buy most things year round but I bet those many years before grocery stores (did you know they’ve only been around for about 100 years?) saw folks really appreciating whatever vegetables they could grow since there were times when they simply couldn’t grow any. All of that is to say that I am really thankful for the provisions of greens and other vegetables the Lord has given us this season.

I also harvested a couple of the Armenian Yard-Long Cucumbers but perhaps a little early, as you might be able to tell. The seeds weren’t even fully formed yet which tells me these 10-12″ cucumbers need time to get even bigger… so we’ll wait. But these two made a great salad with some green onions from the garden and apple cider vinegar – and they are the first cukes we’ve grown in Texas!

And, of course, for perspective I thought I’d share that last photo since it is what the dirty dish counter looks like on most days. I’m making my way through that this morning, along with the mounds of dirty laundry after a week of most of us fighting off something or other.

But Joshie and I managed to sneak out to the garden for another bowl of squash so guess what’s for dinner…

barn-outside

The barn project has continued since its earliest beginnings and the addition of the 2500 gallon water tank.barn-outside2

There isn’t much to say except Stewart finished putting the tin walls up and began work on the stalls. He has completed three of the stalls which include using reclaimed pallets for doors.

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This has worked out well so far for milking and getting them into shelter when it rains. We are currently separating two moms and their single kids overnight and milking them in the morning so these stalls are really coming in handy for that purpose.

milking

Whenever I think of all of the farms and homesteads I have seen throughout the years, I now see all of the outbuildings and sheds and fencing in a completely different light. This is all infrastructure built either quickly with plenty of resources, or slowly over many years. In either case, much of the infrastructure is critical to productivity and food production. It is really the bones of a homestead we are building, layering on better soil or more animals and just more food production overall.

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And so when projects like this come to fruition, we are really grateful for the tool something like a barn becomes to a homesteader. All of the resources and time and energy put into it is truly a gift and we thank the Lord for His work and His mercies in the whole process.

There is more to be done to finish up the inside of the barn including a new milking stand and some other additions. Lord willing, I will share that with you as we move forward.